‘Angry Eleven’ in row over £10m ‘no fans’ Covid compensation package

The Vanarama National League

The Vanarama National League - Credit: Archant

The Vanarama National League is embroiled in an internal row over how the Government’s £10 million ‘no fans’ Covid compensation package is being shared out.

Eleven clubs - Torquay United are NOT one of them - have protested to the NL Board, claiming that some sides are receiving more than they should and others a lot less.

They have even alleged that clubs with chairmen on the Board have been favoured.

The ‘Angry Eleven’ are Chester, Chesterfield, Dulwich Hamlet, AFC Fylde, Kidderminster Harriers, Maidstone United, Notts County, AFC Telford, Wrexham, Yeovil Town and Hereford, whose chairman Andrew Graham is leading the group.

The Board is due to discuss their letter at a meeting today (Thursday, November 5), even though all clubs received their first monthly payments, funded by the National Lottery, last Friday.

Torquay are one of seven NL clubs - the others are Notts, Stockport County, Wrexham, Chesterfield, Hartlepool United and Yeovil - who will receive £95,000 a month to compensate them for lost gate revenue until the New Year.

Their 15 rivals will receive £84,000 a month.

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York City, Hereford and Chester in the NL North and Dulwich Hamlet and Maidstone United in the South will receive £36,000 a month and the rest £30,000.

The figures have been calculated on questionnaires which clubs filled out recently, reportedly based on their gates from 2018-2019, not on the last curtailed season.

It ended up with 60 per cent of the package going to NL clubs and 20 per cent each to the North and South.

The ‘Angry Eleven’ letter claims that clubs ‘should not be expected to know exactly how their income and cost basis would pan out when they filled in their League forms a few weeks ago’.

It alleges: “Clubs with representatives on the NL Board were handed far in excess of their actual losses of gate revenue, while others were penalised and received less than half of their actual gate revenue loss.

“We fail to see why the League thought it could do better than follow the Government guidelines to concentrate on lost gate receipts, and why it adopted a central funding ratio of 60-20-20.”

Torquay do not have a representative on the NL Board.